5 stats that popped for Kansas in a home loss to Oklahoma State
When a visiting team comes into Allen Fieldhouse and leads for close to 38 minutes it’s safe to say the Kansas basketball team had some issues.
The Jayhawks ran into so many problems Saturday against Oklahoma State, in fact, that head coach Bill Self said the Cowboys “whipped” KU in an 84-79 upset.
With Kansas falling at home and Texas Tech handling its business on the road, winning at TCU, the Jayhawks and Red Raiders enter the coming week tied atop the Big 12 standings at 7-3.
Here is a look at five statistics that influenced KU’s latest loss.
Couldn’t corral the Cowboys
Oklahoma State never looked uncomfortable in its win on KU’s James Naismith Court because the Jayahwks couldn’t stop their opponent from making shots.
The Cowboys’ 51.6% shooting was the best mark by a KU opponent this season. It was the second-best percentage of the year for OSU.
By converting on 64% of their shots in the second half, the Cowboys headed back to Stillwater, Okla., victorious and owners of the best single-half field goal percentage by a KU opponent since Iowa State made 64.3% in the first half of a 2016 home win for the Cyclones at Hilton Coliseum.
OSU senior guard Kendall Smith, who entered as a 39.6% shooter on the season, went 10 for 16 and scored a game-high 24 points versus the Jayhawks (18-5 overall, 7-3 Big 12).
Cowboys sophomore forward Cameron McGriff, who arrived shooting 51.4%, converted 7 of 10 shots, with 4 makes on layups and dunks.
KU shot 57.1% from the floor in the second half but it didn’t matter because it couldn’t get the defensive stops it needed in order to recover. OSU converted 14 of its final 18 field-goal attempts.
KU is now 7-20 under Self all-time when its opponent shoots better than 50 percent from the floor.
Usually it’s Kansas who benefits from draining jumpers from beyond the arc, but on this particular Saturday at the fieldhouse, it was Oklahoma State that harnessed the power of the 3-ball.
The Cowboys arrived in Lawrence shooting 33.7% from deep in Big 12 play. They left having knocked down double-digit 3-pointers for the first time in conference competition.
Oklahoma State shot 12 for 27 from long range (44.4%) getting the upset-minded visitors within one 3-pointer of their season-high of 13, which came in November against Oral Roberts. The Cowboys’ 12 makes from 3-point land were the most by a Kansas foe since OSU made 12 in Stillwater versus the Jayhawks to close the 2017 regular season.
KU only made 8 of 22 3-pointers (36.4%) in the loss. On the season, the Jayhawks have made 9 or more from deep 14 times. A cold start in the first half — 1 of 8 from long range — put Kansas in a deficit in a category that so often fuels its offense.
Although the Jayhawks snapped a 10-game streak of losing the battle of the boards earlier in the week at Kansas State, they were right back to their old ways versus OSU.
KU’s players didn’t bring the same activity to the glass as their opponents, and Oklahoma State easily out-rebounded the favored home team, 41-28, making the Cowboys the fourth team in Big 12 play to win the rebound margin by double digits versus Kansas.
The Cowboys so thoroughly out-worked KU on the glass early on that they gathered 11 offensive rebounds on on their first 15 missed field goals, giving them 20 second-chance points and a 30-18 lead.
By halftime the total rebounds read OSU 27, KU 17, and the Cowboys scored 22 second-chance points in the first half. Oklahoma State's 26 second-chance points were the most by a KU opponent this season.
Kansas sophomore center Udoka Azubuike came up shy of his season average of 7.3 rebounds for the fourth straight game, finishing with five.
Another rough showing for Vick
A reliable offensive contributor earlier in the season, KU junior Lagerald Vick shot below 40% from the field for the fourth time in the team’s previous five Big 12 games.
A non-factor in the first half, when he made 1 of 3 shots and turned the ball over twice, it got even worse for Vick in the second. While playing all but one of the game’s final 20 minutes, the athletic 6-foot-5 wing went 1 for 7 from the floor and only made 1 of 4 from 3-point range.
Vick’s final stat line read: 34 minutes, 5 points, 2-for-10 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 fouls, 3 turnovers, 1 block and 0 steals.
He failed to reach double-digit points for the seventh time in KU’s 10 Big 12 games.
Smith controls crunch time
On various occasions this season Kansas has had issues defending quick, talented perimeter players. The latest such guard to victimize the Jayhawks was Smith.
A 6-3 graduate transfer facing KU for the first time, Smith scored 10 of his game-high 24 points in the final 6:46, empowering Oklahoma State to complete the upset.
Almost every time the Jayhawks seemed poised to make a spurt and narrow the deficit, Smith was there to finish a jumper or a layup and extend OSU’s lead to eight or nine points.
Although he missed the front end of a one-and-one with 31 seconds to go, allowing Kansas to get within three, he responded by sealing the victory at the foul line with two clutch free throws with 0:10 on the clock, giving him a new career-high in scoring (24).